While the TV business already has seen an alarming number of consumers go over-the-top to get their TV programming, a new study says even more subscribers would cut the cord if the knew they could still get live programming, particularly sports.
Among the consumers the report labels “cable keepers,” 20% don’t know how they would access live TV without a cable subscription.
“Despite steady declines in subscribers, cable still dominates viewership,” the report said. “The primary reason people keep the cord is the perception that only a linear connection can deliver live television content (42%). The second and third most common reasons are the desire to have a lot of channels (34%) and the fear of losing favorite networks (32%).”
Long term, sports and other live events may be reason enough to keep traditional pay TV. The report found that 30% of cable keepers said they would cut the cord if they knew they could live stream all of their favorite sports, events, and news.
The streaming world appears to be mystifying to cable keepers, with 55% saying that they are are confused by their cord-cutting options.
“Despite the barriers, almost half of cable subscribers have or are considering cutting the cord,” the report said. “This is especially true among Millennials, who outpace older segments in cord-free status. One in three cable subscribers would definitely cut the cord if they could live stream their favorite sports, events and news, and an additional 40% would consider it. Sports fans are even more likely to consider cutting the cord if they could live stream programming.”
The study found that the top reason for cord cutting were that cable was too expensive (73%), that everything was available via streaming (36%), that there were too many channels on cable (36%).
To the cost-conscious, two ways of accessing content have become more mainstream: password sharing and digital antennas.
The study found that 16% of respondents said they use someone else’s password from a network or provider to authenticate an app on a device. Another 21% share their passwords with friends and family.
More of the live streamers--70% said they were satisfied with the monthly price they paid for service, compared to 40% for cable-keepers.